Easy 5 Star Homemade Bread recipe made with simple ingredients & detailed instructions showing how to make bread! Thousands of comments & reviewers agree this is the BEST homemade loaf for both beginners and expert bakers.
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Yes, you can make this recipe in a bread machine! Scroll down to see full Homemade Bread recipe and ingredients, with printable instructions for your bread machine.
A decade ago when I was just beginning to bake confidently, I still struggled with making bread. I tried countless recipes and none of them were quite right. I found this one and never looked back. It uses basic ingredients, comes together fast and I love the bread it makes. It’s soft, chewy with fantastic flavor. Feel free to reduce the sugar if you prefer. Enjoy the process and enjoy that bread!
Where to start on your bread making journey
This is a very comprehensive post with tons of information I’ve gleaned over the years making bread. Where would you like to start first?
Basic Steps for Making Yeast Bread Recipes
You’ll need warm water, granulated sugar, instant OR active dry yeast, salt, vegetable or canola oil and flour. That’s it!
Dissolve the yeast and activate it by Proofing
This is a simple process that takes about 5 minutes. You can see a picture below what yeast looks like when it’s proofed. It’s possible to kill yeast if you use too hot of water, so aim for slightly warmer than luke-warm, or about 105°F. Combine warm water, yeast and 1 TBSP of the granulated sugar in your mixing bowl. Give it a quick stir and then let it sit for 5 minutes. You’ll begin to see the yeast puff up until it covers the entire surface of the water.
Add remaining ingredients and mix
Add the rest of the sugar, the oil, salt and flour (You can use all-purpose flour OR bread flour!), then mix using an electric mixer until it’s well combined, about 2 minutes. You can mix by hand but it will take longer.
Knead the Bread
You might be thinking, “Wait! It’s already mixed!” Ha! Not so fast! Going through the process of kneading bread dough is crucial for bread with great texture. Kneading dough allows gluten to form which enables dough to rise better, be lighter and fluffier. you can knead by hand or with a mixer. I use the dough hook on my mixer and knead for 7 minutes. If you knead by hand, you’ll want to knead for 10-11 minutes, depending on how consistent you are.
Place your lovely smooth, elastic bread dough in an oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap or a clean towel. I think plastic wrap works better because it traps hot air inside and thus, my dough requires a shorter first rise. Be sure to spray the side of the plastic wrap that will touch the dough with oil!
If your house is cool, your bread will take longer to rise. In the wintertime when my house is cooler than normal, I like to turn the oven on for 2-3 minutes, then turn it off and let the bowl of dough rise in there. The oven traps the heat for a longtime and it’s the perfect atmosphere for rising dough.
Punch Dough and Shape it
Punching the dough down quickly releases any air pockets that have developed and helps your bread have a more consistent rise and texture. Shape your dough by rolling it gently into a ball and rolling it 2 or 3 times on the countertop so that the ball is more oblong. I usually punch down and shape the dough quickly, then place in a greased bread pan.
I like to do my second rise in a warm oven that’s not turned on. I turn the oven on just before I punch my dough down, then turn it off once I place the dough in the oven for the 2nd rise. It’s really only on for a minute or two, which is fine! The second rise will help shape your loaf of bread and takes about 30 minutes.
Bake the Bread
You’re nearly there! Bread bakes for about 30-40 minutes. You know what I do to make sure my bread is perfectly cooked? I use a digital cooking thermometer! Fully cooked bread will be 190-200 degrees F. Bread recipes that include milk will need to cook until 200 degrees, but since this one doesn’t, I take it out once it reaches 190 degrees. The top will be golden brown.
My all-time favorite cooking thermometer is the Thermapen. It’s super fast and incredibly durable. Another great thermometer is the ThermoPop which is a more basic version that works just as well!
Cool the Bread
Cool baked bread in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then overturn pan and turn loaf out onto a cooling rack or folded towel to finish cooling. If you leave the bread in the pan for much longer than that, you’ll steam it, which may cause some parts of your loaf to go soggy. No one likes soggy bread!
BEST BREAD PAN?
If you’ve never baked homemade bread before, here are a few tips:
Remember to fully knead
The recipe below kneads for 7 minutes and it’s worth it! Kneading dough helps to develop the flavor and texture of the bread, so don’t skimp on kneading time.
Weather can affect your ingredients
If you live in a moist climate, chances are you’ll need at least the recommended amount of flour, maybe even 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup more. Bread dough should be sticky, but still manageable, especially after the first rise. While you’re kneading, the dough should come together and pull away from the sides of the bowl, leaving the bowl mostly clean. I usually aim to have the very bottom of the dough still attached to the bowl. Try not to add too much flour because your bread will be more dense. When you pick the dough up, some will stick to your fingers. After the first rise, it will be easier to handle!
Temperature affects how long your bread takes to rise
Try not to go crazy kneading your bread after the first rise. I usually knead and shape my dough in about 1 minute, then it’s back in the pan to rest, for the 2nd rise. I like to have the pan rise in the oven for this second rise so that I don’t have to worry about moving risen dough. When it’s fully risen, I just turn the oven on and set the timer to bake!
Here are the ingredients for the oven baked recipe, which yields 2 loaves of bread:
— WATER: You need 2 cups warm water. (110° F/45° C) I recommend you take the temperature using a cooking thermometer until you get the hang of how warm the water should be. If your water is too hot, it will kill the yeast and your bread will be dense and flat!
— SUGAR: We add 1/2 cup white sugar. You are welcome to reduce this even further and use just 1/4 cup.
— YEAST: We add 1 TBSP + 2 tsp active dry yeast to the dough to help it rise.
— SALT: You need 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to enhance the flavors in the bread. If you’ve never had bread with not enough salt, it does not taste good! I forgot to add it once. Don’t do that.
— OIL: We used 1/4 cup vegetable oil but you can also use coconut oil or canola oil. I’ve tried it with light olive oil and it just has a strange aftertaste that I don’t love.
— FLOUR: You’ll need 5-6 cups flour. You can use all-purpose flour OR bread flour!
How to Make 5 Star Homemade Bread
In a large bowl, or a stand mixer, dissolve the sugar in the warm water. I just combine the two and whisk it slightly to dissolve the sugar. Stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam, about 5 minutes.
Add in the salt and oil. Begin to mix, using a rubber scraper or the dough hook on your stand mixer. Add the flour one cup at a time, reserving the last cup of flour to see if you need it. You might not use all of the flour. The dough should pull away and clean the bowl, sticking on the bottom in a small circle about the size of a quarter. If your dough does this with just 5 cups of flour, do not add more. However, if your dough still sticks to the bowl, add more a couple tablespoons at a time until it cleans the bowl, sticking in just a small circle on the bottom.
Now knead dough for 7 minutes. Set a timer as a full knead is important! Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise in a warm area until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Knead for 1 minute and divide dough in half. Shape into loaves and place into two greased 9×5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.
Bake at 350° F (175° C) for 30-40 minutes. Cool, brush with butter and enjoy!
How can you tell if bread is fully baked?
I like to use a food thermometer. Mine is digital, so it’s very easy to use. Fully cooked bread will be 190-200 degrees F. Bread recipes that include milk will need to cook until 200 degrees, but since this one doesn’t, I take it out once it reaches 190 degrees. The top will be golden brown.
AVOID SUNKEN BREAD
The easiest and best way to avoid sunken bread is to use a cooking thermometer to check the inside of the loaf. Fully cooked bread will register 200°F on a thermometer. My all-time favorite thermometer is the Thermapen. It’s super fast and incredibly durable. Another great cooking thermometer is the ThermoPop which is a more basic version that works just as well!
- 110° F/45° C
- active dry yeast
- all-purpose flour OR bread flour
- Punch dough down. Knead for 1 minute and divide dough in half. Shape into loaves and place into two greased 9×5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.
- Bake at 350° F (175° C) for 30-40 minutes. Cool, brush with butter and enjoy!
Recipe yields 2 standard loaves of bread
Instant or Active Dry Yeast for Making Bread
If you use instant yeast, you can add it directly to your other dry ingredients when making bread. If you use active dry yeast, you’ll need to first dissolve it in warm water before using it in a recipe. For the sake of ease, I just always buy instant yeast. BUT, this recipe works for both!
Can you Make this bread in a Bread Machine? YES! Here’s how
Bread fresh out of my bread machine!
I’ve found this recipe works really well in a bread machine! I just had the halve the ingredients so it would fit. You can see and print out the recipe below.
Bread Machine Ingredients
You’ll use the same ingredients, only HALF of them, so you can fit them in a 1-lb bread machine.
— WATER: You need 1 cup warm water. (110° F/45° C)
— SUGAR: We add 1/4 cup white sugar. You are welcome to reduce this even further and use just 1-2 tablespoons.
— YEAST: We add 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast to the dough to help it rise.
— OIL: We used 2 TBSP vegetable oil but you can also use coconut oil or canola oil. I’ve tried it with light olive oil and it just has a strange aftertaste that I don’t love.
— FLOUR: You’ll need 3 cups flour. You can use all-purpose flour OR bread flour!
Making your Loaf of Bread in a Bread Machine
Place bread pan in machine. Close lid and set bread machine to bake a loaf of basic white bread.
Let bread cool when bread machine has completed the full cycle. (Mine takes 3.5 hours.) Remove from machine & pan. Brush with butter and enjoy!
- 110 degrees F/45 degrees C
- active dry yeast
- all purpose OR bread flour!
- Place bread pan in machine. Close lid and set bread machine to bake a loaf of basic white bread.
- Let bread cool when bread machine has completed the full cycle. (Mine takes 3.5 hours.) Remove from machine & pan. Brush with butter and enjoy!
Easy 5 Star Homemade Bread recipe made with simple ingredients & detailed instructions showing how to make bread! Thousands of comments & reviewers agree this is the BEST homemade bread for both beginners and expert bakers.
How to Store Homemade Bread
You’ll want to store leftover bread in an airtight container. I bought bread bags off Amazon and LOVE them!
Enjoy this bread recipe? Here are even more recipes for homemade bread to try
Quick Bread Recipes
Easy 5 Star Homemade Bread recipe made with simple ingredients & detailed instructions showing how to make bread! Thousands of comments & reviewers agree this is the BEST homemade bread for both beginners and expert bakers.
Look no further for the BEST and simplest homemade Bread recipe made with just six simple pantry ingredients! It’s the perfect white bread for sandwiches and it freezes well too!
Our favorite way to eat freshly baked bread is with homemade strawberry, raspberry, or peach jam. It’s simply heaven.
There are so many things to love about this bread recipe, but if I had to highlight the best parts, it’s that it only requires shelf stable ingredients (no milk, eggs or butter needed!) and it’s EASY and fool-proof to make! Whether you’re a newbie or experienced bread maker, you can’t mess this up, and I know you’re going to love it!
- Warm water: (105-115 degrees)- to activate the yeast.
- Granulated sugar or honey: the sugar is used to “feed” the yeast and tenderize the bread.
- Salt: to enhance flavor
- Oil: Vegetable or canola oil, or melted butter could be substituted
- Flour: Bread Flour or All-Purpose Flour can both be used with no changes to the recipe. The exact amount of flour used will vary depending on different factors (altitude/humidity etc.). What matters is the texture of the dough. It should be smooth and pull away from the sides of the bowl. It’s important not to add too much flour or your bread will be dense. The dough should be just slightly sticky when touched with a clean finger.
- Use fresh yeast! If your yeast is expired or bad, the bread will not rise properly. We will test it in step 1 of the recipe. Store yeast in the refrigerator to maintain best quality.
- To speed up the bread rise time: Make dough up to first rising, placing it in a well greased bowl, turning it once to grease the dough all over. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Preheat oven to 180 degrees F, then turn oven off. Place bowl into the oven, leaving the oven door slightly cracked open. Allow to rise until doubled. Then remove, punch down and shape into loaves.
Do I need a Bread Maker or Stand Mixer?
NO! You don’t need any special equipment for this white bread recipe. If you have a stand mixer it makes the process easier, but you can simply use a mixing bowl and wooden spoon, and then knead the dough with your hands. You can use bread machine with this recipe if you have one, but you may need to cut the recipe in half (to make just 1 loaf), depending on your machines capacity.
How to make Bread
- Proof the yeast: In a large bowl or stand mixer add the yeast, water and a pinch of the sugar or honey. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes until foaming and bubbly. (This is called “proofing” the yeast, to make sure it is active. If it doesn’t foam, the yeast is no good, and you need to start over with fresh yeast).
- Prepare the dough: Add remaining sugar or honey, salt, oil, and 3 cups of flour. Mix to combine. Add another cup of flour and mix to combine. With the mixer running add more flour, ½ cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Knead the dough: Mix the dough for 5 minutes on medium speed (or knead with your hands on a lightly floured surface, for 5-8 minutes). The dough should be smooth and elastic, and slightly stick to a clean finger, but not be overly sticky.
5. Punch the dough down really well to remove air bubbles.
6. Divide into two equal portions. Shape each ball into long logs and place into greased loaf pans.
7. Second rise: Spray two pieces of plastic wrap with cooking spray and lay them gently over the pans. Allow dough to rise again for about 45 minutes to one hour, or until risen 1 inch above the loaf pans.
8.Bake: Adjust oven racks to lower/middle position. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake bread for about 30-33 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Give the top of a loaf a gentle tap; it should sound hollow.
Invert the baked loaves onto a wire cooling rack. Brush the tops with butter and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
Storing: Once cool, store bread in an airtight container or bag for 2-3 days at room temperature, or up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Make Ahead And Freezing Instructions
To make ahead: Make the bread dough through step 4, before the first rise. Place in a large airtight container, and refrigerate for up to one day. Remove from fridge and allow to come to room temperature. Proceed with punching down and forming loaves.
To freeze bread dough: Prepare the recipe through step (6), before the second rise. Place the shaped loaves into a freezer-safe or disposable aluminum bread pan. Cover tightly with a double layer of aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, allow the loaves to thaw and complete the second rise, at room temperature (about 5 hours). Bake as directed.
To freeze baked bread: Allow baked bread to cool completely. Place each loaf in a freezer-safe resealable bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature on the countertop, or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Cinnamon swirl bread: After punching dough down and dividing into two pieces (step 7) roll each piece out into a large rectangle. Mix ¼ cup sugar and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon together. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top, leaving a 1-inch border around the sides. Roll the dough up very tightly into a log. Pinch the ends to seal and place into prepared loaf pans, seam side down. Continue with step 8.
- Whole Wheat Bread
- Artisan Bread
- Pizza Dough
Uses for Leftover Bread:
Homemade bread will dry out after 2-3 days, but I have many recipes that use bread slices, including:
- Baked French Toast Casserole
- Bread Pudding
- Classic French Toast
- Bread Crumbs – Allow the bread to dry out completely, then pulse it into crumbs using a food processor or blender.
- Dried Bread Cubes for Stuffing
- Overnight Breakfast Casserole
- warm water (105-115 degrees)
- active dry yeast*
- honey or sugar
- oil (canola or vegetable)
- 4 – 5 1/2 all-purpose or bread flour*
- Prepare the dough: In a large bowl or stand mixer add the yeast, water and a pinch of the sugar or honey. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes until foaming and bubbly. (This is called “proofing” the yeast, to make sure it is active. If it doesn’t foam, the yeast is no good, and you need to start over with fresh yeast).
- Add remaining sugar or honey, salt, oil, and 3 cups of flour. Mix to combine.
- Add another cup of flour and mix to combine. With the mixer running add more flour, ½ cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be smooth and elastic, and slightly stick to a clean finger, but not be overly sticky. Add a little more flour, if needed.
- Knead the dough: Mix the dough for 4-5 minutes on medium speed (or knead with your hands on a lightly floured surface, for 5-8 minutes).
- Spray two 9×5” bread pans generously with cooking spray on all sides. (I also like to line the bottom of the pans with a small piece of parchment or wax paper, but this is optional.)
- Punch the dough down well to remove air bubbles. Divide into two equal portions. Shape each ball into long logs and place into greased loaf pans.
- Invert the loaves onto a wire cooling rack. Brush the tops with butter and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
- Once cool, store in an airtight container or bag for 2-3 days at room temperature, or up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Flour: Bread flour or all-purpose can both be used with no changes to the recipe. Bread flour will produce a slightly chewier loaf. Whole wheat flour can’t be substituted cup-for-cup because it’s gluten levels are different. Here is my favorite Whole Wheat Bread recipe.
Yeast: to substitute Instant or Rapid Rise yeast, skip the “proofing” of the dough in the first step and add the yeast to the bowl with step 2. Allow the dough to complete its first rise, and then roll and shape into loaves and rise again (rise times will be much faster with instant yeast).
Quick-rise Tip: To speed up the rising time of the first rise, make dough up to first rising, placing it in a well greased bowl, turning it once to grease the dough all over. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Preheat oven to 180 degrees F, then turn oven off. Place bowl into the oven, leaving the oven door slightly cracked open. Allow to rise until doubled. Then remove, punch down and shape into loaves.
Freezing Instructions:To freeze the dough: Prepare the recipe through step (6), before the second rise. Place the shaped loaves into a freezer-safe or disposable aluminum bread pan. Cover tightly with a double layer of aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, allow the loaves to thaw and complete the second rise, at room temperature (about 5 hours). Bake as directed.To freeze baked bread: Allow baked bread to cool completely. Place each loaf in a freezer-safe resealable bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature on the countertop, or overnight in the refrigerator.
Bread Machine: If using a bread machine, you may want to cut this recipe in half to make 1 loaf (depending on the capacity of your machine).
Did You Make This Recipe?
Have you tried this recipe?!
RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.
Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.
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Cranberry Orange Walnut Bread
Coming from Oregon, a state famous for its cranberries, this bread is a given at our house. Each fall my husband and I scrounge around for walnuts to go in it. It’s a regular on our table, and not just at Thanksgiving. I freeze the berries so I have a ready supply all year long. —Elaine Kremenak, Grants Pass, Oregon
This could be the perfect bread for any dish. The sharp cheddar cheese makes it irresistible.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Bacon Walnut Bread with Honey Butter
My savory walnut bread filled with bacon bits and blue cheese dressing is complemented by the sweetness of honey-flavored butter. Cut yourself a thick slice, slather on the butter and enjoy!—Pam Ivbuls, Omaha, Nebraska
Most people tell me what they like best about these rolls is they’re so moist. I like them because they’re simple to make, freeze well and because I grew up on oatmeal and still love it! —Jeanette Fuehring, Concordia, Missouri
Parmesan Zucchini Bread
This loaf has a rugged, textured look that adds to its old-fashioned appeal. The mild Parmesan flavor nicely complements the zucchini, which adds bits of green color to every tender slice. —Christine Wilson, Sellersville, Pennsylvania
My husband and I want whole grain bread, but we don’t like the spongy store-bought whole wheat breads. I drastically altered one of my favorite batter bread recipes to create this earthy bread. It is crunchy, chewy and easy. The add-ins are just suggestions. Sometimes I use pepitas, sesame seeds or even 1/4 cup of a multi-grain hot cereal mix. —Amber Rife, Columbus, Ohio
My family loves this as a pizza crust. But with a touch of olive oil and fresh herbs it makes a lovely flatbread appetizer. —Sue Brown, West Bend, Wisconsin
Jalapeno Buttermilk Cornbread
If you’re from the South, you have to have a good cornbread recipe. Here’s a lightened-up version of my mom’s traditional cornbread that tastes just as delicious. —Debi Mitchell, Flower Mound, Texas
Sour Cream Chive Bread
This savory loaf mildly flavored with chives is delicious when served warm with a meal, soup, salad or stew. It also tastes wonderful toasted the next day for breakfast. —Deborah Plank, West Salem, Ohio
Swirl Cinnamon Bread
If you like cinnamon, you’ll love this quick bread! It’s crusty on top, soft and moist inside. Make extra loaves for the holidays and give them to family and friends. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
We’re not sure when it happened (okay, we have a *slight* hunch), but we’ve gotten super into baking homemade bread over the last few years. And why not? When you can make a loaf of bread as good as the Poilâne bakery at home(!), it’s easy to ditch the bland sandwich bread. Whether you’re wanting some easy quick breads or a fluffy loaf of focaccia, these easy homemade bread recipes will have you feeling like a bread baking prodigy.
If you need fresh bread, like, yesterday, quick breads are here to save the day. Quick breads (recipes leavened with baking soda/powder instead of yeast) are way easier to manage and just as delicious as yeasty breads. If you’ve ever baked banana bread, you’re likely already familiar with how amazing quick breads are, but we’ve also got plenty of savory quick bread options if that’s more your thing. Our recipes for beer bread, skillet cornbread, and homemade biscuits come together in a flash and will make you look very impressive come dinnertime.
Ready to level up your baking skills? If we were to put together a syllabus of breads to master, here’s our shortlist: French bread, challah, pita, brioche, and sourdough. With a few of those under your belt, you’ll be your way to expert-level baking (and having a full bread stash).
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French bread is an easy homemade bread that’s perfect for any use. It’s great to rip apart and eat as is, sliced open for sandwiches like a banh mi, or toasted for garlic bread. It’s an all-purpose bread that gets better every time we make it.
Get the French Bread recipe.
This recipe for homemade bread is the perfect recipe to turn to when that grocery store loaf just doesn’t cut it anymore. With absolutely no unnecessary preservatives or additives, the full flavors of buttermilk and honey in this bread will lead to the best breakfast toasts and sandwiches you’ve ever made. This’ll make you understand the term “the best thing since sliced bread.”
Get the Homemade Bread recipe.
Baking a loaf of sourdough bread is pure therapy: food for the body and food for the soul. Not only will it fill your kitchen with delish smells of yeasty goodness, you’ll walk away with a handful of life lessons along with a piece of unbelievably fulfilling bread. If you have time, making sourdough bread is the project for you. Just be careful—you might never be able to settle for store-bought loaves again.
Get the Sourdough recipe.
Get the Best-Ever Focaccia recipe.
Whole Wheat Bread
If you think 100% whole wheat bread tastes like dry sawdust and tough cardboard, think again. This recipe makes use of a combination of ingredients to make a super soft and tender loaf: tangzhong, sweet honey, a couple tabs of butter and spoonfuls of oil, and creamy evaporated milk. We guarantee this to be the best whole wheat bread to come out of your home oven.
Get the Whole Wheat Bread recipe.
These rolls are a great alternative to regular rolls at dinnertime. This dough is a bit on the sweeter side, so it lends beautifully for a pre-dinner roll or for pulling apart and eating on its own too. These rolls also taste phenomenal when toasted!
Get the Challah Rolls recipe.
Have a leftover baked potato? The only logical thing to do is to mash the insides and make dinner rolls. These are truly the Fluffiest. Dinner. Rolls. Ever. Fresh out of the oven, each roll has a crispy bottom, buttery top, and unbelievably soft center.
Get the Fluffy Potato Rolls recipe.
If you love butter, you’ll live for this brioche bread. This recipe produces two loaves, each containing a whole stick of butter—so you can imagine how rich each fluffy bite will be.
Get the Brioche Bread recipe.
Not only does this cornbread involve less cleanup (we love an oven-to-table vessel), but it promotes the ideal texture of crackly crust around moist, decadent corn cake. Pouring the batter into a preheated cast-iron creates a sear to the batter (nothing like that sizzling sound when it’s poured in) and speeds up the bake time. Wins ALL around.
Get the Skillet Cornbread recipe.
Hot Dog & Hamburger Buns
Skip the shelf-stable hot dog and hamburger buns this summer and make your own soft and fresh buns. The buns come out soft and buttery and are begging to be ripped open straight from the oven.
Get the Hot Dog & Hamburger Buns recipe.
Goat Cheese-Stuffed Rolls
Just when we thought dinner rolls couldn’t get any better—we stuffed them with goat cheese. These golden brown beauties are rich, soft, and full of honey and herby goat cheese. Best part of a cheese-stuffed roll? It doesn’t need any butter. But we still opt for some anyway! The choice is entirely up to you, but the slightly sweet, cheesy center provides all the necessary creaminess required for devouring a warm dinner roll.
Get the Goat Cheese-Stuffed Rolls recipe.
Traditional naan is a South Asian flatbread that is usually cooked in a tandoor oven. The bread quickly bubbles up when being baked and yields a soft texture with slightly crisp edges. Made with yogurt to keep it soft, naan has a very slight tang, making it super-flavorful and perfect for soaking up all of that extra sauce from chicken tikka masala or served as an appetizer along with garlic hummus.
Get the Homemade Naan recipe.
Homemade Soft Pretzels
Homemade soft pretzels are better than any mall pretzel you can find. Soft and pillowy, they’re a dream for dipping in mustard or nacho cheese. You could even skip the pretzel salt and toss them in a little cinnamon sugar for a sweet treat!
Get the Homemade Soft Pretzels recipe.
When it comes to sandwich breads, the milk bread reigns supreme. A common sight in Asian bakeries everywhere, it is for me the epitome of white bread: A humble, golden crust gives way to an interior crumb that is simultaneously soft and toothsome, pillowy with a slight chew. The enriched dough is perfect for eating straight or lightly toasted with a spread of butter and a sprinkle of salt or a smear of jam. It’s perfect in any French toast or bread pudding recipe. It’s also perfect in savory sandwiches like croque monsieurs and madames. Honestly, it’s just perfect, period.
Get the Milk Bread recipe.
It’s time to put your braiding skills to good use! Challah is an egg-enriched loaf that’s traditionally braided and makes the most beautiful presentation. Similar to brioche, the bread is slightly sweet and wonderfully soft inside. Got leftovers? Brioche makes the perfect slice for French toast.
Get the Challah recipe.
English muffins start with an overnight rise so that they’re nearly ready to be baked off in the morning. Once baked, they get split open with a fork(!!!) to reveal all of those classic nooks and crannies. Perfect for the butter to melt into or to serve your eggs Benedict on. These light muffins will give your day a bright start with a slightly sourdough-y taste and perfect crunch from the cornmeal crust.
Get the English Muffins recipe.
In England, where these very savory little bakes hail from, the word “pudding” has a very different meaning than it does stateside. Yorkshire puddings are almost identical to popovers. The recipe is the same except instead of using melted butter, these are traditionally made with beef drippings or rendered beef fat. That beef fat is usually the result of cooking a big Sunday beef roast, to which Yorkshire puddings are a traditional accompaniment. Not planning on a roast beef? Yorkshire puddings also go nicely with other large-format dishes like roast chicken or prime rib.
Get the Yorkshire Pudding recipe.
A Jewish sweet braided bread loved by all, babka is stuffed, rolled, then baked with a variety of fillings. Chocolate babka tends to dominate the flavor popularity contest, but there’s a certain appeal to a cinnamon babka that just can’t be denied—which is why this recipe snuck both into the mix.
Get the Chocolate Babka recipe.
This BEST Homemade Bread Recipe makes the most deliciously fluffy loaf of white bread. It tastes so much better than store-bought!
Nothing beats delicious homemade bread! If you love a good homemade bread recipe, you’ll also love our French Bread, White Bread Recipe and Banana Bread recipes.
Easy Bread Recipe – a family fav!
I have to confess, I’m kind of a bread addict. I love any kind of bread, from tender and flaky Biscuits to French Bread, to pillowy soft rolls.
My very favorite kind of bread, though, is a fluffy white loaf of Homemade Bread.
I taught myself to bake perfect bread, and it has totally changed my life! It’s perfect for morning toast, sandwiches, or a batch of French Toast.
As long as you plan ahead a little for the rise times, it’s really not very much work, and well worth the effort.
Cost Effective and Healthier
I can find a cheap loaf of bread at the grocery store, but it comes with a long list of ingredients – some of which I cannot even pronounce.
If I want to buy bread with quality ingredients, then I’m spending 3-4 times more, especially if I’m shopping at local bakeries or buying artisan bread.
Making this Homemade Bread Recipe will cost about $1.25 worth of ingredients per loaf and I get to control exactly what ingredients I use!
Start with good yeast! If your yeast is old or dead, your bread is going nowhere fast. I store my yeast in the fridge at all times, and that helps to keep it fresh.
YEAST. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm water with a pinch of sugar.
COMBINE. When the yeast mixture is bubbly and foamy, add the sugar, salt, oil, and 4 cups flour, and mix with a dough hook until smooth.
KNEAD. Add remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, to form a soft, smooth dough. The dough should stick just slightly to your finger when touched, but not be overly sticky. Knead for 5-7 minutes, until smooth, then roll into a ball.
Rising + proofing
RISE. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turn over once to coat the top with oil, and cover with plastic wrap. (Use olive oil or cooking spray to coat the bowl.) Let rise one hour, or until doubled.
SHAPE. When the dough has risen, punch it down gently and divide it in half. On a slipmat or lightly floured surface, roll each half of the dough into a long rectangle about 8 inches wide.
Roll the dough up, starting at the short edge, to form a cylinder that is approximately 8 inches wide. Repeat with remaining dough.
2ND RISE. Place the dough, seam side down, into lightly greased bread pans, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for one hour, or until the dough is ½-1 inch higher than the top of the pan.
The most time-consuming part of bread making is letting it rise – twice. It is also one of the most important steps to ensure you get the best bread texture.
Here are a few tips when you proof the dough. It’s best to use a heatproof glass or metal bowl:
Oil the bowl before adding the dough to rise. This will keep it from sticking when it is dumped out and shaped.
Cover the bowl. Lock in moisture by covering the bowl with a piece of oiled plastic wrap, unless otherwise noted.
Air temperature can affect the proof time. A warmer environment will allow the dough to rise faster. A cooler area will slow down the process.
A quicker proof time. Create a warmer environment and reduce the amount of time it takes to rise in a few different ways:
- Preheat your oven to 200°F then turn it OFF. Place the dough in an oven-safe bowl and cover it with a warm damp tea towel. Stick it in the oven until the dough has doubled in size.
- Heat up a bowl of water. Put the bowl of dough on top of the hot water bowl, making sure that the water doesn’t touch the bowl of dough.
- Heat up an electric heating pad and cover it with a towel. Place the bowl of dough on top.
- Place the bowl of dough near a warmer area in your home such as a fireplace or warm slow cooker.
Doneness. Visually observe when the dough has doubled in size and use that as an indicator of doneness.
To further tell if the bread has been proofed just right, poke your finger into the top of the dough.
- Bounces back immediately – continue proofing.
- Doesn’t bounce back at all – it is over-proofed.
- Bounces back halfway – it’s perfect!
Baking homemade bread
PREP. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
BAKE. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.
I like to brush my loaves with a little melted butter after baking, but it’s totally optional. I like that it helps to soften the top crust just a little, and a little extra butter is always a good thing, right?
COOL. Remove to a cooling rack and cool before slicing. MAKES 2 LOAVES.
Slice when bread is cool!
Cut as thin or thick as you wish. Use a bread knife with a serrated edge that is long enough to make a sawing motion. Do not push down to cut the bread. Instead, saw the bread using the whole length of the knife with light pressure.
Although I’m often so hungry for warm bread that I eat it hot! My favorite way to eat it is warm from the oven, smothered with fresh Honey Butter.
Even if you’re a bread novice, you should definitely give this easy recipe a try!
All things flour
Bread Flour comes in both whole wheat and white versions and has a higher percentage of protein than all-purpose flour. This protein produces extra gluten strands which trap air and produce the airy and chewy texture perfect for bread.
- Make your own bread flour substitution by measuring out 1 cup (4 ½ oz) of all-purpose flour.
- Remove 1½ teaspoons of the flour and replace it with 1½ teaspoons of vital wheat gluten.
- Sift and use this mixture whenever a recipe calls for bread flour.
If you don’t have bread flour and can’t make your own substitution use all-purpose flour. Just note that it won’t have as chewy of a texture.
Whole wheat flour. Wheat flour especially can yield heavier bread. If you wish to use whole wheat flour it is suggested to use white wheat bread flour. You can also combine ½ wheat flour with ½ white flour.
Heavy and dense bread. A few common reasons that bread turns out heavy and dense include:
- Adding too much flour. It’s always best to scoop the flour into the measuring cup with a spoon and level it off. Be mindful of how much flour you add while kneading.
- Under or over proofing. It is really important that the dough rises well. If you don’t allow it to rise long enough it will be dense. If you proof it for too long, it will fall and also become dense.
Top homemade bread with
- Honey Butter
- Jalapeno Jelly
- Cinnamon Butter
- Pumpkin Butter
- Fruit jams or jellies
- Compound butter made with herbs such as rosemary or parsley
Repurpose your Homemade Bread
Us this bread in some of our favorite recipes:
Make croutons. Check out our Homemade Caesar Salad Croutons recipe!
Make bread crumbs. Let 1 loaf of bread dry out and become more firm.
- Use a food processor to blend the crumbs evenly – do not over-process.
- Melt ½ cup butter in a large pan and add the crumbs along with some salt and pepper.
- Stir until evenly coated. Keep stirring until crumbs sound like sand.
- Let cool and store in Ziploc bags with zipper seals for up to 6 months!
STORE. Cool completely and place in a Ziploc bag or wrap in foil. This Homemade Bread Recipe should last 2 to 3 days stored at room temperature.
FREEZE. Slice the loaf all the way through, place it in a plastic bread bag, and freeze it as soon as it has cooled completely.
To thaw, pop the loaf in the fridge for a few hours. I love that I can pull out a few slices as needed for toast, or an entire loaf for soup night, or for sandwiches for school lunches.
FREEZE the bread dough. Add twice as much yeast to compensate for any yeast that will die in the freezer.
- Allow the dough to rise the first time, then shape it into loaves and place them into greased bread loaf pans or directly on a greased baking sheet.
- Place them in the freezer and freeze until solid.
- Wrap each loaf with plastic and again with aluminum foil. Label and freeze for up to 6 months.
To bake – unwrap and place in a greased bread pan. Cover with an oiled piece of plastic wrap. Allow it to thaw for several hours and then rise until it is about doubled in size. Bake according to recipe directions.
This White Bread Recipe is everything that white Homemade Bread should be! It is soft and full of flavor.
For more bread recipes, check out
- active dry yeast
- 5 ½ – 6 1/2
- butter for topping
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm water with a pinch of sugar. When the yeast is bubbly and foamy, add the sugar, salt, oil, and 4 cups flour, and mix until smooth.
- Add remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, to form a soft, smooth dough. The dough should stick just slightly to your finger when touched, but not be overly sticky. Knead for 5-7 minutes, until smooth, then roll into a ball.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turn over once to coat the top with oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise one hour, or until doubled.
- Place the dough, seam side down, into lightly greased bread pans, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for one hour, or until the dough is ½ – 1 inch higher than the top of the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Brush with melted butter, if desired. Remove to a cooling rack and cool before slicing. MAKES 2 LOAVES.
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